Sunday, December 18, 2011

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011



SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011


SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011


SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011


SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011


SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011


SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday brought civil fraud charges against six former top executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, saying they misled investors about risky subprime loans the that mortgage giants held when the housing bubble burst.

Those charged include the agencies' two former CEOs, Fannie's Daniel Mudd and Freddie's Richard Syron. They are the highest-profile individuals to be charged in connection with the 2008 financial crisis.

The federal government has faced criticism for not bringing charges against top executives who may have contributed to the worst financial meltdown since the Great Depression.

Mudd, 53, and Syron, 68, led the mortgage giants in 2007, when home prices began to collapse. The four other top executives also worked for the companies during that time.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in New York City.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives told the world that their subprime exposure was substantially smaller than it really was," said Robert Khuzami, SEC's enforcement director. "These material misstatements occurred during a time of acute investor interest in financial institutions' exposure to subprime loans, and misled the market about the amount of risk."

Fannie and Freddie both entered into agreements with the government on Friday, accepting responsibility for its conduct without admitting or denying the charges. The government-controlled companies also agreed to cooperate with the SEC on the cases against the former executives.

The Justice Department has opened up probes into Fannie and Freddie but has not charged anyone with a crime.

In a statement released through his attorney, Mudd said the lawsuit "should never have been brought" and said the government reviewed and approved all of the company's financial disclosures.

"Every piece of material data about loans held by Fannie Mae was known to the United States government to the investing public," Mudd said. "The SEC is wrong, and I look forward to a court where fairness and reason -- not politics -- is the standard for justice."

Syron's lawyer couldn't be immediately reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit, Fannie told investors in 2007 that it had roughly $4.8 billion worth of subprime loans on its books, or just 0.2 percent of its portfolio. The SEC says that Fannie actually had about $43 billion worth of products targeted to borrowers with weak credit, or 11 percent of its holdings.

Mudd told a congressional panel in March 2007 that Fannie's subprime business represented less than "2 percent of our book." He also said the company held subprime mortgages "very carefully." A month later, he told a separate congressional panel that subprime loans represented less than 2.5 percent of Fannie's books.

Freddie told investors in 2006 that it held between $2 billion and $6 billion of subprime mortgages on its books. The SEC says its holdings were actually closer to $141 billion, or 10 percent of its portfolio in 2006, and $244 billion, or 14 percent, by 2008.

In a May 2007 speech in New York, Syron said Freddie had "basically no subprime exposure," according to the suit.

Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from banks and other lenders, package them into bonds with a guarantee against default and then sell them to investors around the world. The two own or guarantee about half of U.S. mortgages, or nearly 31 million loans.

During the financial crisis, the two firms verged on collapse. The Bush administration seized control of them in September 2008.

So far, the companies have cost taxpayers almost $150 billion -- the largest bailout of the financial crisis. They could cost up to $259 billion, according to its government regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Administration.

Mudd was fired from Fannie after the government took over. He's now the chief executive of the New York hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

Syron resigned from Freddie in 2008. He's now an adjunct professor at Boston College.

The other executives charged were Fannie's Enrico Dallavecchia, 50, a former chief risk officer, and Thomas Lund, 53, a former executive vice president; and Freddie's Patricia Cook, 58, a former executive vice president and chief business officer, and Donald Bisenius, 53, a former senior vice president.

Lund's lawyer, Michael Levy, said in a statement that Lund "did not mislead anyone." Lawyers for the other defendants declined to comment Friday morning.

Fannie and Freddie had traditionally purchased a small number of subprime mortgage loans, which involved borrowers with credit problems who could not qualify for cheaper prime loans. But starting in the late 1990s many firms started purchasing subprime loans, and Fannie and Freddie followed suit.

Legal experts say the cases, while unusual, might not yield much in penalties against the former executives.

In July, Citigroup paid just $75 million to settle similar civil charges with the SEC. The company's chief financial officer and head of investor relations were accused of failing to disclose more than $50 billion worth of potential losses from subprime mortgages. The two executives charged paid $100,000 and $80,000 in civil penalties.

A federal judge in the case said she was "baffled" by the low settlement.

Fines against executives charged in SEC civil cases can reach up to $150,000 per violation. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro has asked Congress to raise the limit to $1 million.

Mudd made nearly $4 million in salary and bonuses in 2007, and Syron made more than $18 million, according to company statements.

The SEC has charged more than 80 people, including 40 CEOs and senior executives, with violations stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.

by Derek Kravitz Associated Press Dec 16, 2011


SEC charges ex-Fannie, Freddie CEOs with fraud - BusinessWeek

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Scottsdale's median home prices in 2011 have ranged from a high of $359,000 in August to a low of $317,000 in September, according to monthly reports from Arizona State University Realty Studies.

As the year draws to a close, the median price in November of $345,000 was up 1.5 percent from a year earlier and 1.12 percent higher than it was at the start of 2011.

Throw out the high and low prices of August and September and Scottsdale's average monthly median price was $342,797 through November.

• Scottsdale home, condo prices through the year

For most of the year, the monthly median prices were down year-over-year from 1 percent to 10 percent. Only September and November recorded price increases of 3.6 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.

"All of the numbers are encouraging," said Jeffrey Smith, West USA Realty vice president.

The inventory of houses is about 19,300 homes in Maricopa County, down from 54,000 less than two years ago, he said.

"There is demand for housing even though the demand is on vacation right now" until after the first of the year, Smith said.

Good homes, priced right are selling quickly in Scottsdale, he said.
Foreclosures a factor

Foreclosures are still a drag on the Scottsdale housing market but that could be changing.

In January, 29 percent of home sales were foreclosures and by November that declined to 16 percent, a low for the year.

That is far below the foreclosure figure for Maricopa County, which was 29 percent in November. The median home price countywide last month was $126,000, down 6.7 percent from a year earlier.

Jay Butler, ASU business professor emeritus, said another surge of foreclosures is possible in the spring if low consumer confidence prompts more people to give up on their homes.

"However, the key issue in the coming year will be whether investors become less of a factor and the homeowner-occupant market begins to improve," said Butler, author of ASU's monthly report on resale homes.

ASU tracks resale home prices, total sales and foreclosures in a monthly report. The latest report was released this week. The median price is the midpoint of all the sales.
Home sales on rise

Scottsdale home sales through November were 5,810, up 5 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Previously foreclosed houses accounted for 40 percent of sales countywide in November and were 18 percent of sales in north Scottsdale.

Scottsdale's median price for condominium and townhouse sales in November was $125,000, down 1.7 percent from a year earlier.

Condo prices started the year at $146,825, dipped to $115,250 in August and declined every month year-over-year except for September, which saw a 5 percent jump in prices.

Foreclosures accounted for a third of the condo sales in January and February but fell to 18 percent in November, the lowest figures this year.

Buyers purchased 3,214 condos through November, down 6 percent from 2010.

The median price of condo foreclosure sales in Scottsdale last month was $98,450. That is the first time the price has fallen below $100,000 in recent years.

Maricopa County's median price for condos and townhouses was $80,825 in November, down 0.2 percent from a year ago.

by Peter Corbett The Arizona Republic Dec. 16, 2011 08:58 AM



Monthly median Scottsdale home prices are 'encouraging'

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

The Phoenix region, which had one of the worst-performing economies among the nation's 100 largest metro areas, finally is moving rapidly in a positive direction.



Metro Phoenix rankings

This is how the Phoenix region ranked among the nation's 100 largest metro areas for improvements from the second quarter ending in June to the third quarter ending in September.

Real-estate owned properties:* Second.

Housing prices: Seventh.

Unemployment rate**: 19th.

Employment: 26th.

Gross metropolitan product: 94th.

*This refers to the properties owned by banks or other lending institutions per 1,000 properties that have mortgages.

**This ranking is based on a one-year percentage-point change in the rate. The Phoenix-area rate in the third quarter was 8 percent.

Source: Brookings Institution's Mountain Monitor report

A Brookings Institution Mountain Monitor report being released today puts metro Phoenix among the top 20 of the metro areas for its overall economic performance and improvement between the second and third quarters.

That's a dramatic turnaround from its placement among the 20 or 40 worst, where it has been for the past year.

The finding is based on four indicators: changes in the number of jobs, unemployment rates, economic output (gross metropolitan product) and housing prices. The time periods for the changes varies with each indicator and ranges from several months to several years.

Mark Muro, a Washington, D.C.-based senior fellow at Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program, credits the turnaround to the national growth of two segments of the Phoenix area's economy, high-tech and manufacturing, which help offset Phoenix's real-estate crash, as well as subtle improvements in housing and employment.

"The Phoenix area has a lot of wreckage from the real-estate mess, but you do participate in those important technology and manufacturing segments," he said.

In contrast, the Tucson area, with fewer of those industries, remained in the bottom fifth for its overall economic performance. It is also more dependent on now-stagnant federal dollars.

"They (Tucson) have just as significant real-estate shrapnel, but they have a thinner economy. They have fewer drivers to offset the real-estate crash," Muro said of Tucson.

The Brookings report ranks the Phoenix area 26th among the metro areas for job gains between the second and third quarters, with a gain of 0.6 percent, compared with a national metro average of 0.1 percent.

"It (job growth) may not feel great, but it's something and it's better than what is going on in a lot of places," Muro said.

Arizona State University economist Lee McPheters said Wednesday that job growth in the second half of the year has come faster than in the first half and that the region will probably end the year in 10th place for the most job gains among metro areas.

Although the Phoenix area's housing market remains in pain, Muro said a drop in lender-owned properties and rise in housing prices over the quarter helped boost Phoenix's overall ratings.

Brookings research shows that the Phoenix area's housing prices have fallen 56 percent from when they peaked in the fourth quarter of 2006 to the third quarter of 2011.

But since hitting their low point in the second quarter of 2011, prices have risen almost 2 percent.

The number of lender-owned properties per 1,000 properties that have mortgages has fallen to 9.3 in the third quarter from 11.4 in the previous quarter.

The third quarter not only brought progress for the Phoenix area but for the entire intermountain West, which consists of Arizona, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada and Idaho.

All the states began to see signs of recovery after idling for most of the year, Brookings said. And even struggling Las Vegas landed in the middle.

By Betty Beard, The Arizona Republic Dec 15, 2011


Valley rises in economic rankings - USATODAY.com

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